On Your Side: Border towns may split over wind turbine plan
Lynda and Terry Hartley are born and bred Townshippers.
Over the past 24 years they've raised a family of six in their Stanstead home, in spitting distance of neighbours across the border in Derby Line, VT.
But now the Canadian residents are fighting mad over a plan to install wind turbines in the United States.
Encore Redevelopment has plans to install two turbines to connect with a Vermont Electric cooperative.
"They're forcing it down our throat and it's hostile to us," said Terry Hartley.
"They just put them feet on the other side of the border."
Mayor threatening to turn off taps
The towns of Stanstead, QC and Derby Line, VT, like all border towns, have always relied on each other despite having a border between them.
But now Derby Line, which gets its water from Canada, may find itself going dry.
Stanstead's mayor opposes the project and says he may take harsh steps against Derby Line if the turbines are built.
"I threatened to turn the water off if they put these turbines up," said Mayor Philippe Dutil.
The Hartleys say the plan to install wind turbines on farmland will threaten their way of life.
They and their neighbours are worried about something called Wind Turbine Syndrome, which is not recognized by any medical agency.
People who believe in the syndrome say wind turbines can produce insomnia, headaches and nausea, and blame both the low-frequency noise and the shadows cast by the spinning blades.
The Hartleys are especialyl concerned for their youngest son, who has autism.
"Something like that would be devastating to my son for the sights, the strobe effect," said Lynda.
Residents are also concerned about the view.
The turbines would each be about 400 feet, or 120 metres high.
No plans to expand
Dual citizen Glenda Nye believes the project will lead to dozens, if not hundreds of turbines in the region.
"This is about green but not green energy," said Nye. "This is about money, that colour green, the greenback."
The developer said that claim is flat-out wrong.
Chad Ferell of Encore Redevelopment says the turbines are being built as part of a small-scale sustainable energy program in Vermont.
"I need to be very clear. This is not a windfarm project.," said Ferrell.
"It's possible that a third turbine could be constructed but that would be it."